Algonquin Denies Open-Air Dining Plan After Hearing Neighbors Concerns

November 11, 2023 0 By JohnValbyNation

ALGONQUIN, IL — Village officials sided with a group of neighbors living near the Iron Horse Bar & Grill in Algonquin and denied a proposed plan to allow open-air dining at the location — a move that residents argued would bring loud noise and draw wild animals to the patio area.

This past summer, Iron Horse owner Joseph Condo filed for a special use permit for his proposed addition, according to village documents. He hoped to add a 576 square foot outdoor patio in a courtyard to the west of Iron Horse, 3965 W. Algonquin Road, Algonquin.

As part of his proposal, the patio would be surrounded by a building on the east side, four-foot high aluminum fencing on the north and west side and a board-on-board cedar fence to the south. Condo also planned to add a variety of shrubs and a dwarf tree on the north side and six-foot tall evergreen trees and switch grass on the south side of the cedar fence “to aid with noise absorption.”

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On July 18, the Algonquin Village Board denied Condo’s plan in a 4-0 vote. The vote followed denials by the Committee of the Whole and the village’s Planning and Zoning Commission.

During the June 11 planning and zoning commission meeting, a handful of nearby residents voiced their opposition to the plan.

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Iron Horse Bar & Grill, which is located in Algonquin’s Prestwicke Plaza at the corner of Algonquin and Square Barn roads, has a narrow alleyway to the south of the business and then a residential neighborhood immediately to the south of that.

During the June 11 planning and zoning commission, village staff recommended approval of Condo’s plan if several changes were made, including: the addition of a board-on-board cedar fence on the south side of the patio that would span the entire width of the courtyard and run from the ground to the eaves of the building as well as six-foot evergreen trees.

They also recommended the patio close at 10 p.m. and that the”noise level shall not exceed the permitted decibel level of the village code,” according to village documents.

The planning and zoning commission went on to vote down the major planned development amendment and special use permit. During the meeting, committee members agreed with those who stopped out to comment, stating that they felt the patio addition may negatively impact adjacent residents.

Maral Panossian, a nearby resident, spoke during a July 11 committee of a whole meeting regarding her worries. She said the potential noise would effect their otherwise quiet neighborhood. Leslie Kuster, also speaking at the July 11 meeting, echoed those sentiments and said she and other neighbors are worried about the possible congestion in the area.

The proposed patio area would have been located less than 50 feet from a residential area, according to village officials.

Iron Horse Bar & Grill opened in 2015 in Algonquin.

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